Our History continued:
As Contact Ministries became established within the social service delivery system of Springfield, it became evident that many of the clients who sought services were still “falling through the cracks” of the system. This realization, along with a commitment to follow the commands of God to love and serve your neighbor, prompted the Board of Directors to redirect the focus of Contact Ministries to one of providing direct services.
Contact Ministries had established itself as an agency committed to providing assistance to those in need. The agency provided rental and utility assistance when funding was available, counseling and advocacy, food referrals, clothing, prescription, transportation assistance, holiday assistance and seasonal assistance such as fans in summer and coats and blankets in winter. The agency also directed an extensive referral system that linked clients with other human service agencies.
In November 1993, Contact Ministries expanded its service to the less fortunate of the area by opening an emergency shelter for homeless women with children. The shelter provides all of life’s basic needs – food, personal care items, clothing, and laundry facilities. In addition, residents are given access to phones, transportation, job notices, housing possibilities and child-care so that the mothers can find employment and permanent housing. The Contact Ministries staff and volunteers provides individual assessment, case management, tutoring, job counseling and mentoring, special programs and activities and other supportive services to the shelter residents. This has now become our Transitional Shelter for homeless women and children where families can stay for an extended period of time.
In November 2013, Contact Ministries further expanded it service by opening an Emergency Shelter for homeless single women and women with children of any age, up to the age of 17, becoming the first shelter in Central IL with this availability. The shelter is open 365 days a year and is open daily at 5:00 pm. Residents are provided a safe place to sleep, dinner, a place to take a shower and do laundry. While residents are staying in the shelter, they are encouraged to access resources through our Director of Services in the main office.